Next Week’s News Today: China In Focus

The US markets are closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Day. So, traders will have to wait until Tuesday to see if US equities can rebound from Friday’s sell off.

Before then, they could chew on the latest economic numbers from China. The world’s second-largest economy is pencilled in for GDP figures on Tuesday. Last month China said its economy grew at an annualised rate of 6.9% in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, the retail sales figures could be closely eyed for signs that Chinese consumers are doing their part in compensating for a slowdown in industrial production. Chinese retail sales grew in the double digits last month. A healthy set of numbers could do wonders for Singapore companies with retail exposure in China. These include BreadTalk (SGX: 5DA), ComfortDelGro (SGX: C52) and Straco (SGX: S85).

Staying with East Asia, Taiwan’s pro-independence party, the Democratic Progressive Party has swept into power. Ms Tsai Ing-wen has been elected as Taiwan’s first female president.

In other economic news, the US reports inflation numbers next week. Whilst the headline inflation was a meagre 0.5% in November, the core inflation rate tells a different story. Core inflation, which strips out volatile items such as food and fuel costs, reached 2% last month.

And finally, Singapore reports Balance of Trade figures on Monday morning. Singapore relies on the purchase of intermediate goods and the export of high value added products. It is one of the four main drivers of economic growth in Singapore. Fingers crossed for some decent figures.

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